Reinke's edema

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Synonyms and Keywords: Polypoid degeneration

Overview

Reinke's edema, also known as polypoid degeneration, is the swelling of the vocal folds due to fluid collection (edema).

Historical Perspective

It is named for Friedrich Reinke.[1][2]

Causes

Common causes of Reinke's Edema include smoking, gastroesophageal reflux, hormonal changes such as hypothyroidism and chronic voice abuse.

Diagnosis

Physical Examination

Reinke's edema causes the vocal folds to bilaterally swell giving them an uneven, sac-like appearance. Individuals with Reinke's Edema typically have low-pitched, husky voices.

Laboratory Findings

Histopathology: biopsy of the vocal cord may be used to help in the diagnosis of some cases. Histology shows edema in the stroma.

Treatment

The first course of treatment is to remove the source of the irritant (e.g. smoking cessation, vocal rest, etc.). This can be effective if done soon after development of the edema. Surgery is also an option and can result in some restoration of the voice but is ineffective in complete restoration of the voice to its original state.

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References

  1. synd/2653 at Who Named It
  2. F. B. Reinke. Untersuchungen über das menschliche Stimmband. Fortschritte der Medizin, München, 1895, 13: 469-478.

de:Reinke-Ödem nl:Reinkes oedeem



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